Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2017 Contents A22 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 4, 2017
Authorities are investigating
whether the 12 people deported
from Turkey last week are con-
nected to any organisation, says
National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon. The 12 people arrived home
Last July, it was reported that nine
T&T nationals had been detained in
Turkey with a Syrian national report-
edly recruiting for the Isis terror group.
The group was described as being large-
ly female, with at least one pregnancy
or young child among them.
The returning group, said to involve
two families, included two babies un-
der a year old, a 19-year-old male and
a 12-year-old male, were not one en-
tire group but comprised various T&T
nationals who had gone to Turkey at
different periods and had overstayed
the 90 day period visitors are allowed
to be in that country.
They are said to be from various parts
of T&T, including Kelly Village, Diego
Martin and Rio Claro.
Dillon who declined to give decrip-
tions of the people involved, said on
their return they were interviewed for a
very long time. Based on the interviews,
he said the "necessary action"required
in such situations will be taken but did
not give details citing national security
Dillon said the authorities will
cross-reference information to see if
any member of the group is linked to
He said local authorities also spoke
with the six Turkish nationals who had
escorted the group back to T&T.
"We'll seek to strengthen that rela-
tionship," he said.
On another matter, Dillon said Gov-
ernment continues to monitor the
unrest in Venezuela and has systems
in place to treat with any spin-off or
spill over from that situation.
Dillon said his ministry has facili-
ties in place where T&T's Coast Guard
commander can liaise directly with his
counterpart in Venezuela's Guardia Na-
cional. He made it clear T&T would not
be interfering in Venezuela's issues.
Tobago supermarkets feel pinch over cargo woes
Since the departure of the MV Su-
perfast Galicia from the inter-island
service and its replacement with the
barge, Trinity Transporter and fer-
ry Atlantic Provider there has been
shortages of food and hardware
supplies in Tobago.
Businessman Lloyd Warner, of Pen-
ny Savers Supermarket, is angry about
the situation. He said after 30 years in
business facing the same problem al-
most annually, it is ridiculous that a
barge is being offered as a solution on
the inter-island cargo service.
Warner said Tobago stakeholders
had told Works and Transport Minis-
ter Rohan Sinanan a barge was not the
"But what did we get? A barge! For me
that is an insult to Tobagonians," he said
"They say we are a twin island state,
but they don't treat Tobago equal to
"Tobagonians don't protest or burn
tyres, we don't jump up and march, but
it does not give anyone the right to treat
us this way, and when we speak out the
Prime Minister saying we trying to jostle
or blackmail his government! That is
Warner said since the new arrange-
ments went into place there has been a
shortage of food supplies across Tobago.
The operators of the Galicia opted out
of a month-to-month contract with the
Port Authority on April 21, and the ves-
sel is now operating in Gibraltar.
Warner said: "Two weeks ago there
were no supplies from National Flour
Mills. A basic supply of flour we could
not get. When you take away basic food
stuff from the regular person it imme-
diately sends his cost of living higher."
He said while food prices have not
increased, the concern is not being able
to get regular supplies. Warner said the
Galicia was efficient and Tobago was
getting regular supplies.
"What caused it to go back, I don't
know, but my feeling is that it was work-
ing good and this mess should not have
happened. Tobago is treated this way
because it does not affect Trinidad."
There were similar complaints from
other business people on the island. The
owner of a mini mart, who spoke anon-
ymously, admitted to having problems
getting regular supplies.
A bakery owner told the T&T Guard-
ian: "It has been taking longer to get
Hardware dealers reported declines
in the supply of construction material
and complained about being forced to
use the barge because the Atlantic Pro-
vider, which can only accommodate 40
trucks, is being used to transport food
and other supplies.
Trucks transported on the barge ar-
rived covered in thin layer of salt from
the sea water last weekend.
President of the Tobago Chamber
Demi John Cruickshank said: "We are
not getting the amount of goods which
was available before, so right now hard-
wares are short on material. It is a big
challenge for the construction sector."
He said the Port Authority indicated
to the Tobago Chamber that the Pro-
vider will sail every day but the barge
will do three sailings a week and will
be in Tobago on Tuesdays, Thursdays
The Provider takes eight hours while
the barge takes 15 hours to make the trip.
As of Tuesday, he said, the chamber
had not heard from the Port Authority on
the decision to seek help from the World
A shopper looks for flour at Penny Savers
Supermarket in Tobago on Tuesday.
PHOTO: CASANDRA THOMPSON FORBES
Food, hardware supplies fall short
Bank to source a cargo vessel.
"If the World Bank tender is to
find a vessel for three years then
obviously this arrangement with
the barge and the Provider will be
longer than the six to eight weeks
we were promised. We are hoping
that arrangement is for the brand
Meanwhile, there is word from
the Port Authority that the T&T
Express will be taken out of service
to complete outstanding repairs.
That means the only passenger
ferry on the inter-island route
will be the T&T Spirit.
A Tobago hotelier said the sec-
tor been experiencing a decline in
visitors and is losing revenue as a
result of the situation with the
Dillon: Turkey 12
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